Faith based Initiatives

Just too funny.


"According to one major study, Wiccans -- one of several subgroups of pagans -- made up the fastest-growing religion in the continental United States in the 1990s. The American Religious Identification Survey, based on a randomly dialed telephone survey of 50,281 households by the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, estimated that the number of Wiccans rose 17-fold, from 8,000 to 134,000, between 1990 and 2001.

The survey also estimated that there are 33,000 Druids and 140,000 other pagans in 48 states. That adds up to about 300,000 people in what pagans call their "family of religious and magical paths."

Contrary to stereotypes, pagans say, they do not worship Satan or cast evil spells. Although Wiccans practice witchcraft with exotic herbs, chanting and dancing, most of their rituals and beliefs -- which a federal court recognized as a religion in 1986 -- revolve around the cycles of nature, such as equinoxes and phases of the moon. Aside from a belief in magic, the witch next door is likely to hold a pretty mainstream set of concerns -- environmentalism, gender equality and compassion for the poor, said Shea Thomas, a Hyattsville lawyer who is the chairman of Open Hearth Foundation, a nonprofit group raising funds to build a pagan community center in the Washington area."